What is Domestic Violence and Abuse?

Domestic violence and abuse is when someone over the age of 16 in a family or relationship, threatens, bullies, or abuses another person over the age of 16 (physically, psychologically, emotionally, sexually or financially).

Most victims are women but domestic violence and abuse happens to men too.
If someone you know is experiencing domestic violence and abuse

If you think a friend or family member is experiencing domestic violence and abuse, there are things you can do to help. It can be hard to know the right things to say or to do to help someone you know. Useful support and advice is available from the following national helpline and organisations:

National Domestic Violence Helpline (Telephone 0808 2000 247)

Women’s Aid

The Hideout is the first national website to support children and young people living with domestic violence, or to those who may want to help a friend.


Sometimes, children and young people who live with domestic violence and abuse can experience the following:
  • Fear and helplessness, guilt or shame, isolation
  • Blaming the abuser or trying to stop them
  • Blaming the victim for not leaving or standing up to the abuser
  • Getting hurt from trying to intervene
  • Stress from trying to protect brothers and sisters
  • Not wanting to bring friends home
  • Trying to get help for the victim
  • Wishing someone would help or wishing everyone would stop interfering
  • Getting involved in police or social services proceedings
  • Throwing themselves into school, college or work
  • Missing school, college, staying home to protect the victim
If you are living with domestic violence and abuse, remember the abuser is completely responsible for the abuse – you, your brothers and sisters, and the parent being abused are not to blame
You don’t have to deal with what is happening alone, there are people who can help you cope with what is going on.
If you need help right away you should always call the police on 999.

If you are worried or scared about what is going on at home, it can help to talk to someone. An adult you trust such as a teacher at school.

You can also call Childline on 0800 1111 or the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000 if you would like to talk to someone about what is happening. You don’t have to give your name and the calls are free. They will listen and talk to you and help you to decide what to do next.

The Children's Society have developed a range of books and worksheets to help children and young people think about difficulties and worries you might have and how you might deal with them. You can compeelte these worksheets on your own or with someone you trust. Access them here.
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